Why Drug Rehab doesnt work  

dasher121 36M
3656 posts
11/15/2005 9:31 am

Last Read:
3/9/2006 8:26 am

Why Drug Rehab doesnt work

Recenly finished my degree in Rehabilitative Sciences(yeah and with that asshole Bush raising the rates on loans, Im now super fucked with debt. thanks you jackhole! Way to look out for the rich and fuck the regular guy).
Have heard an interesting topic come up multiple times over the past year about how drug rehab doesnt work. Having experience in the field(various internships, worked running education classes on campus to violators for 3yrs, and having friends who do lots o drugs), I agree with this statement. But I have come up with a solution. And while doing my internships have proposed this to many others in the field. Some whole heartedly agreed and others told me they would fire me if they were my supervisor.
The major point you must understand, about any problem in life, is that if an individual doesnt want help you cant help them! Its a simple thing to understand. But people in the field get caught up in frustration and just move with a regular routine. And this is also very understandable. Our field pays absolutely no money to have you try to get someone sober who cuss's you out, doesnt listen to you, and gives you attitude on a regular basis.
I taught on campus drug and alcohol education. This was for students who violated the no drug no drink policy on campus. So if you were caught, instead of turning you into the police, you would go and take these class's for three weeks, one night a week. A little personal info, I used to smoke alot of pot and drink lots of beer. I had to attend the classes mutliple times myself as a student. The head of the class, after talking with me one night, decided to recruit me instead of go with his "sober" students who taught. Interesting theory. Some agree with it, others are completely agianst it.
The first thing I did was to rewrite the program that they used. It was extremely "preachy" and way too serious for students who got caught smoking a joint or had a random beer can in their room. I made it more factual. Giving education about what these people were using. I would look through their violations and find out what drugs they did get caught with and then do personal research to use during the class.
I gave info about the positive and negative uses of these substances. I also, with time, got brave enough to share experiences of mine and people I knew. I used to tell one story that was very hard for me to get out at times, very emotional for me. A very good friend from highschool of mine was into oxycottin. While at a house party, a few asshole friends of his slipped pills into his cup of beer. He died on the couch that night. But these dumbass's thought he was just wasted from the pills and picked him up and put him in their car. They then proceeded to drive around pittsburgh for an hour and do a burn run with him dead in the car, too fucked up to realize that he had overdosed because of them. They then carried him up to his apartment and put him in bed with his girlfriend. Keep in mind that when someone dies they also lose all control of fluids. She woke up the next morning in horror! He had been dead for a good ten hours.
Even the assholes in my class who would smirk and laugh about everything were straight faced and silent. And before I would turn them all lose I would give them this final speech:
"We all like to party and experiment. And Im not here to say that drugs are bad and blah blah blah. You know that already. You walk your own path, and you chose when to get off of it. I sat in your position many times hearing speeches like these and thought, "yeah right. he's full of shit!" Most of you probably think that about me. But know this, eventually the party has to end. No one ever says when they first start using "I want to be a junky". It just happens, one day you wake up and it owns you. Its never to late to step off of the path, the question is how do you want to leave. On your own accord, by death, or with help? Thats your option, and when you are ready, youll decide."
I had major doubts about continuing my work until one night, after giving this speech, I was packing up my equipment. A young girl, 19yrs old, approached me. She had been there for cocaine abuse and was court ordered by her PO through the university to take my class.
I remeber that she was a very attractive girl but looked run down. Dangerously under weight, wrinkles on her face where a 19yr old shouldnt have them, and very dirty. She told me that that was the most sence anyone ever made to her. And she thanked me for sharing the very real and sobering personal story(to my embarrassment, every damn time i told that story i got choked up and had to pause to keep from letting it out.....i hate that). She told me that it helped alot that I didnt preach, and that she finally got it. Then she walked away, I was completely awe struck.
I saw her over the various years afterwards and would stop to chat occasionally. She sobered up, looked great, and got her shit together. Even got on the deans list for good grades.
So as I ramble on lol, my point is that the system doesnt work because of all of the attacking and preaching to people who dont want to hear it. I meet with individuals and ask, "Honestly off of the record, what do you want out of this? Are you here just to do your time and be done with it, or are you here to actually get help?" And if they just want to complete their time, fine. Then instead of preaching and lecuring, I educate them. Let them know what it is they are putting into them, how it affects their brains and cardio. I give them research homework to do, papers to write, in ANY attempt to open their eyes to what it is they are doing. But they MUST be the ones to realize it. I can only show them the door, but I refuse to be the couselor that pushes and prods and lectures about opening the door up, stepping off of the path. It just turns people off and I feel conselors like that are hurting more than helping.
As human beings, it is our nature not to respond well to criticism. Constantly reminding people of why and how they fucked up isnt going to change who they are. You have to open their mind and let them decide what is right for them. I realized that I cant help everyone. But for that one person to tell you that something that came out of your simple mouth made a difference to them, is inspiring. Its theraputic to me as well. Its infectious, cant be helped. If I can just stop one person from making mistakes that I made, and help them not to burry a friend who hasnt even lived half of their life. But it's un up hill battle that not many are willing to endure. I only pray for the strength to continue on, and maybe just maybe make myself better along with them.

rm_BanginBunni 40F

11/15/2005 10:00 am

I really learned somethin from this today, and had a real good look at myself and actions on those around me, Thank you for sharing!!!!!x

dasher121 36M

11/15/2005 10:06 am

Wow, thank you Bangin. Im glad I could put out something of use to someone And thanks for visiting.

bella_ 47F
4030 posts
11/15/2005 7:58 pm

Wow, that was an interesting post..and educational...we need more like these! bravo!!

tillerbabe 55F

11/16/2005 12:18 am

This was really good and I agree with you completely. I used to teach a class called "Think again". We taught it to Freshman through Juniors in High school (we realized tht the younger we trated, the more effective we were.) This was a program about waht Drinking and Driving does, and what wearing seatbelts prevent. We didn't preach. We showed real-life graphic photos of actually acidents that involved drinking and driving and not wearig seatbelts. (The kids in fact had to get permission to attend the class because of its horrific and graphic nature...)
When then would take the class through a scenario with volunteers from the class as "actors". We brought backboards and c-collars, and all the tools used in the ER after the patient arrives...we talked about EVERYTHING that is done to their bodies to survive trauma like this, (shit, this is getting long..) My point is..we didn't preach - we jsut showed them what happens and gave them choices.
We have been told by the students, parents and teachers that this style has had more effect on the students than anything else.
Nice work Dasher! {=} You rock!

rm_corezon 53F
3376 posts
11/16/2005 6:40 am

Agreed, thanks for posting...I think that is a great approach and the only one that really works. Nobody is going to stop anything unless they want to. And partying can be such a mindless thing...until bad shit happens. Nobody thinks it will happen to them or their friends until it does...and if you haven't walked that path, I don't think you really have much to say to those that do...

I never seen where preaching worked, either, especially when confronted with the real world...

Anti-drug preaching only seems to work with the younger kids...as kids get older and get exposed to more reality and life they realize too much of what they've heard is bullshit so they throw it all out the window...think it can do more harm than good...

dasher121 36M

11/16/2005 8:22 am

bella- glad that something was learned here, thank you
Till- thats great that you did that. and I think that those programs are very effective and should be used alot more.

Corezon- you have hit the nail on the head! I couldnt agree more. Had something else written here but AdultFriendFinder wouldnt let me post it because of the drug names that I used. But I will say that you are very correct, and thanks for stopping in and sharing your opinion.

dasher121 36M

11/16/2005 8:31 am

Try to reword some of what I said. Corezon is very right. And teenagers see right through all of the bs that they have been fed, all of the lies and made up things to try to scare them. Scare them with reality, not with fables too out dated even for my grandparents.
And the things that these anti-drug campaigns think that kids are using right now are Waaaaaay off base. They are not smoking pot in high school anymore, that was the last two generations. And even when I was in high school, my generation was taking it up another notch.

femme872 29F

11/18/2005 3:27 am

That makes great sense.
I always wondered why councilling didnt work.

dasher121 36M

11/20/2005 12:48 pm

femme- yes, like many systems some things work and some dont. But people who work in the system should always realize that not everything works and times change. You have to move with the times if you are to be effective.

dasher121 36M

11/21/2005 8:44 am

humbold- you are completely right in my opinion and thank you for sharing it. this is true, the soul becomes sick, thinned out. As a therapist/counselor/ect. you have to find a way to "help" the soul. We cannot do it ourselves, the key to the whole equation is the patient themself. They have to want to get well, and we have to not get in the way.

rm_drunkagain66 51F
11 posts
11/21/2005 2:10 pm

I really needed to see this - hope it helps me!!!! Thanks!!!

dasher121 36M

11/23/2005 7:20 am

drunk- thanks for stopping, hope that this does help. Its frustrating sometimes to try to convey what you are thinking and feel about something. You will always have those who think against your grain. But if you can get one person to hear you.......

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